Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Janice L. Dick

I’ve been long obsessed with living the writing life, with being a writer. I’ve read books by writers such as Annie Dillard, Stephen King, William Zinsser and others, and have picked up on some of their ideas. I’ve tried to insulate myself from real life in order to dedicate myself more completely to my private writing world. It’s been a selfish attempt on my part, but it was the only way I knew to attack it.

Over the Christmas season, I had to put my writing aside for a time in order to concentrate on family, food and celebration. I enjoyed it, of course, but it was difficult to re-enter my writing world. I had no ideas, no passion, no enthusiasm. Had I not applied myself enough to my writing world? Had I been too long in the real world, neglecting my writing life?

My daughter, me, my mom
In my musings about this conundrum, I realized something: my real life is the one I need to live. My grandchildren, some living only a mile away, are growing quickly, and I want to spend more time with them. I need to keep up with my friends and the rest of my family. My 94-year old mother needs my attention. Even though her assisted living suite is lovely, she is a province away from her children and very lonely. We have a roomy house with only the two of us living in it, so we’ve invited her to move in with us.

What will happen to my writing life? I can’t say for sure, but I’m expecting it will be fine. As I move forward in my real life, investing myself in the lives of others, I find my motivation for writing more focused, my enthusiasm growing, and my ideas flowing. I don’t want to live in two worlds anymore.

One thing I know, I’ll certainly have more experiences to write about, and maybe I’ll learn to use my time more efficiently.


  1. Jan, what a precious post. I just know that as you embrace LIFE, you are going to find so much 'grist for your mill'. I've struggled against this very thing... trying to reconcile 'real life' and all the worlds in my head. You are doing the right thing. Praying for much inspiration for you in all the ordinary, yet extra-ordinary moments. Much love xxx

  2. Jan, lovely post. Yes, one life. I write this having an unexpected week caring for my 2 elderly parents - there's the temptation to resist it but there's so much joy to be had in simply being with them as they go through their last season on this earth.

  3. This is such an important post, Jan! I have always tried to look at a life this way. Not saying I always get it right, because I don't, but I don't want to miss family, friends, and life because I'm stuck to my computer. And yet it isn't easy. Sometimes I know I get it wrong. And yet I keep trying! :-)

    And Ian, you will never regret the time with your parents during this season of your life. I've had to walk away from writing during various seasons, and like you said, Jan, I think when I've come back to it, I've had more ideas and excitement then ever. Well said!

  4. This is so sweet and encouraging. I'm about to move closer to my grandchildren. I'm so excited I can hardly wait. But I do wonder how this will affect my writing time. It doesn't matter. Those kids are so much more important. Thanks for a great post.